The first steps toward ballot initiatives that would make Wyoming a more marijuana-friendly state are underway, but there are still big hurdles that need to be cleared.
The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office granted what’s known as “conditional certification” Monday to the two proposed ballot initiatives: the “Wyoming Patient Cannabis Act of 2022” and the “Wyoming Cannabis Amendments 2022.” The first would legalize medical marijuana and the second would reduce the fines and punishments related to consumption, possession and cultivation of marijuana, better known as decriminalization.
Organizers went through multiple meetings with the Secretary of State’s office that changed the initiatives, but they still accomplish the original goals. If the decriminalization initiative is passed, Wyomingites will be charged with $50 fines for first offense possession under four ounces and $75 fines for third and subsequent offenses Jail time will be eliminated.
The organizers, which are made up of the state and national Libertarian Party as well as Wyoming community leaders, now have 30 days to collect the first 100 signatures of people to act as co-sponsors and make the certification final. The certification does not make any judgement on the status of weed in Wyoming, but rather certifies that the initiative is in the format required by law.
“We anticipate that we will complete the first 100 signatures (plus an additional 100 for a cushion) by Friday,” Apollo Pazell, chief strategist for the national Libertarian Party, said in an email to the Star-Tribune.